Gonoshasthya Kendra Founder and trustee Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury has alleged that the government did not approve the coronavirus antibody and antigen kits developed by their organisation due to a "business motive".
"It's a government run by businessmen. So, even though our antibody and antigen kits are ready, the government has not approved those. Now they've allowed the import of kits with a business purpose," he said.
Zafrullah, also a freedom fighter, made the remarks while speaking at a programme at Gonoshasthya Kendra Nagar Hospital in the city's Dhanmondi area yesterday.
He said Gonoshasthya Kendra will no longer apply to the government seeking approval of its kits. "But if the government approves our kits on its own, we'll provide it with those."
Dr Zafrullah said the government is still pursuing a "wrong" policy to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
"They didn't approve the Covid-19 vaccine trial in time. Gonoshasthya Kendra suffered a loss of Tk 10 crore by developing the kits as the government didn't approve those. They've now approved the import of the kits from abroad. Such a decision has been made as the current regime is a pro-businessmen one."
He also said the government should provide all-out support to health workers, including doctors and nurses, while they are tackling a health disaster risking their lives as frontline fighters.
At the programme, the health workers of Gonoshasthya Kendra showed honour to the Covid-19 frontline fighters by clapping for a minute. Similar programmes were held at the 30 centres of Gonoshasthya Kendra across the country.
On May 13, Gonoshasthya Kendra submitted the samples of GR Covid-19 Rapid Dot Blot antigen and antibody kits to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) authorities for the performance trial.
The BSMMU conducted the trial and found it not fully effective to detect the coronavirus patients.
Following the BSMMU's report, the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) did not approve the kit.